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>> a doctrine welcome to the hudson institute's new york book forum to celebrate the publication of "escape from north korea: the untold story of asia's underground railroad" a senior fellow, melanie kirkpatrick. im ken weinstein, president and ceo of hudson institute and i'd also like to welcome our audience watching at home on booktv and also want to especially thank our friends at c-span for covering today's event. there's a couple of guys present day the website to acknowledge. the council general of south korea and new york, ambassador sergio sans who is here. i would also -- [applause] and i'd also like to acknowledge a president of the japanese deputy consul general in new york committee pd consul general colin mara.
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[applause] in addition of a two note the presence of several hudson institute trustees. our vice chair comes very start and are traced the come and check david, who is a special interest in this book as he was the first person to read it i needs me to the author. we are grateful for jack service on our board and also involvement in this book. lastly, what do you think distinguished panelists, alice rearden, cryptanalysis president is george w. bush special envoy and human rights for north korea. adrian hunt, director of pegasus strategies and founder of liberty in north korea, a nonprofit that works for north korean human rights and the projection of north korean refugees. and joseph kim, who is a remarkable individual who himself escaped from north korea at the age of 13. hudson is that he was founded 51 years ago as a forward-looking international policy research
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organization, designed to think creatively about how to achieve a better future in the face of an unprecedented challenges of the early 1960s. but the world has changed significantly since those days, our fundamental way of looking at it has not. since the days of the founding hudson is to do, work has been shaped in part by the belief that dedicated efforts of a few determined individuals can make a significant difference in the fight for human freedom rights. the book we discussed today, "escape from north korea: the untold story of asia's underground railroad" embodies this concept. a highly anticipated volume by hudson senior fellow, melanie kirkpatrick, has just been published and is already received very favorable reviews in "the wall street journal," the weekly standard, publishers weekly, the asia times and in the south korea price. the reason is very simple. melanie kirkpatrick offers both a deeply moving, yet highly
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analytic account of experiences and north koreans who risk everything to escape the world's worst tyranny. in addition she talks about the incredibly dedicated christian missionaries and korean americans who help them in their fight to freedom. those of us who work in the policy world in washington sometimes risk becoming so a related to the news that in a sense our senses are doled amid no longer recognize the human consequences of tyranny and various public policies. this book, "escape from north korea" come as the perfect antidote to that phenomenon. melanie does an absolutely masterful job introducing us to some absolutely extraordinary individuals. tim chavan, the first pianist at the symphony who escaped to china, is arrested three times before he finally makes it to freedom all because he simply wanted the freedom to play the music of this choice.
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she gives us the story of stephen ken, you want a businessmen in china working for wal-mart attending an underground church in sinn fein, who happens to cross a of north korean refugees and make it so moved by their fight that he decided as a part-time at dignity, he hopes for north korean refugees escape from china. he gets arrested for the dvds and spends three years in jail before returning to the native state deciding to dedicate his entire life to saving north koreans. he cannot possibly read this book without being profoundly moved and without frankly being moved to tears and just about every single chapter. they go into greater detail on some of these momentarily. melanie kirkpatrick, whom jay lefkowitz will introduce shortly uses the best in her journal sensibilities honed at nearly three decades at "the wall street journal" to highlight the
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human side of the tragedy of north korea. we deeply proud of hudson to claim her as a colleague in the torture, today. copies of "escape from north korea" are available for purchase at today's event for $20 melanie kirkpatrick will be glad to sign a copy. it's also available on i urge all of you and other booksellers to read it, discuss it and read it again. i now have the special pleasure introducing my friend, jay lefkowitz. jay is a senior partner at kirkland and ellis here in new york city. she is a well-known commodity in the washington policy world, having served with distinction in two different administrations as cabinet secretary under president george h.w. bush and deputy director of domestic policy under george w. bush. he's known throughout washington is seeking policy intellectual with an ability to synthesize complex issues with unparalleled
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efficiency. desert on issues ranging from some solid research to jewish voting patterns in presidential elections to human rights in north korea in such publications as "the new york times," "wall street journal" and "washington post." for purposes today, should be noted jay served as special envoy for human rights under president george w. bush and in that position, she was known for his forthright criticism that simply the north korean tyranny, but also china and occasionally in south korea for failing to do more to assist north korean refugees and their fight to freedom. she did not spare criticism either of the folks at foggy bottom. he was on him for criticizing state department policies that seem more concerned about preserving the six party talks on north korea's nuclear program and step in the nuclear program itself for promoting human rights in the country. without any further ado ladies and gentlemen can get a warm hudson institute welcome to jay lefkowitz. [applause]
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>> thank you, can put a warm and gracious introduction. it's a pleasure to be here with all of you today for what promises to be a fascinating to goshen because we have three really exemplary presenters. i'm going to introduce our keynote speaker, melanie kirkpatrick first. so there's an introductory remarks about the book. but influencer to write the book and some of the features from the book and then i'll introduce are there to presenters, adrian hong and joseph kim. after they speak, will open the road to questions. melanie, as many of you know is now a senior fellow along with her husband and the dude has spent, jack at the hudson institute. but before that, melanie was for many years a leading editorial page writer at "the wall street journal" editorial board.
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she wrote editorials and articles ranging on really all subjects from domestic to be. but in her role as deputy editor in "the wall street journal" editorial page, she had a keen focus on foreign policy and in particular, really to to the issue of north korea human rights, like really no one else in the american media has taken. in her early career, melanie spent 10 years working for "the wall street journal" asia. in hong kong and before that had another gig, where she lived and worked in tokyo i believe. melanie received her bachelor's degree from princeton university and a master's degree from the university of toronto. the book that melanie is written is absolutely riveting. it really reads more like an tom clancy thriller than it does the work of nonfiction.
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she tells an incredibly powerful story about human rights and human tragedy the earliest modern north korea. she tells the story through the eyes of many of the participants in this drama. the refugees, one of whom, joseph can come into today, one of only 175, 180 north korean refugees who actually made it to the united states and safety. she tells the story through the eyes of the workers on the underground railroad, largely people involved in christian relief organizations both here in the united states and in northeastern china, who worked clandestinely and at great risk to their own lives, trying to open up a channel for north korean refugees to escape. north korea as you know it's probably the most repressive
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regime in the world at this stage. it is a place where millions of north korean citizens have literally been starved by an intentional government policy over the last 10 to 15 years. it is a place that houses and has passed for well over a decade a series of quake concentration camps were are tortured, executed for crimes no more serious than listening to a foreign radio broadcasts, reading the bible for disrespecting a picture of the dear leader. it's really a chilling book and if it works that should be a must-read for anyone who cares about human rights or who cares about the political environment in the foreign-policy concerns that relate to north korea. as a general rule, u.s. north korea policy follows a very
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similar and repetitive pattern. there are provocations by the regime missile launches, underground nuclear tests with the occasional sinkings of the south korean vote. these are followed or threats of sanctions by the international community. and then of course as with the perennial recalcitrant child, the promises that her behavior whereupon the international community comes back and provides more aid to the regime in many respects continue to prop up the regime. and of course received almost never reaches people for whom it is destined. it siphoned off by the military or sold on the black market for hard currency. this pattern raises several questions for policymakers and in the course of our discussion today, i just want to plant a few seeds that we can come back
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to. for particular areas that i think are worth discussing and thinking about. one is what is the effect if any of sanctions, monetary sanctions on a regime like this while we all remember what happened about six, seven years ago when the united states for $25 million of north korean that think adult asia issue. an enormous impact indeed was largely as a result of that that north korea made some significant concessions to return to the six party talks, which as soon as money started following they reneged on. the second fascinating policy issues the role of china in all of this. on the one hand, and flagrant violation of international law, china off in his back repatriate some to north korea, where they're sent to be tortured and sometimes executed in the political concentration camps and yet obviously we know that
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without china turning a blind eye, much of the great work of the underground railroad couldn't take place, so that's a puzzle and a question for policymakers. the role of international humanitarian aid to the regime when we know so much of it is going to be siphoned off, raises other interesting moral and political questions. and finally, the overall united states policy object is come at least the stated policy object is over the last decade and a half of reunifying opinions the when in fact it appears that all the parties most essential to post to make it a north korea and those nations that may in fact even have more to say about the path of north korea don't really want dependent to the to be reunited for rational reasons on their own part. these are all the questions raised that are raised by
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melanie and the just not fundamentally a policy book. it is a book about humans suffering. it's a book about human tragedy and a book about heroism by relief workers and heroism by the escapees. i want to introduce melanie curt patcher. -- trained to. [applause] >> thank you for the warm introduction in thank you for your help over the years as i researched this project. i also want went to see thank you toucan and my first editor ernesto davis special thanks to adrian hong and joseph can i talk about my book on the serious issues that jhs
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outlined. they are both heroes of mine, rescuer and rescued and it's wonderful that they were able to join us. i'd also like to briefly also think, since this is one of the first events have been doing since the book came out, i'd like to thank my agent, lynn shoe and clint hartley here today and more marvelous than finding the book a terrific home with encounter books. ..
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an article for his publication about it and said to a translation to me hoping that the law street journal would publish it. of course to all we did. and i was -- i was really blown away by it. it was completely eye opening to me, especially his description of the mass public worship of their leader of north korea. it was like leaving -- reading a chapter from 1984. george orwell's vision had come to life a few years earlier, the democratic people's republic of korea. i also, as the years went by, could that -- could not get the closing line of the italian journalist article out of my head. it read, when i got off the plane in peking i kissed the ground, happy to be back in
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every country. every country, china, 1981? i had been there. i knew it china was a free. was it really possible that there could be a place that was -- that number three could be worse? thirty years later we know the answer to that question. north korea is the world's most repressive state. its people are the slaves of the family regime, which controls every aspect of their lives, even whether they get to eat. religion is banned. there is no rule of law, and perceived political infractions are met with harsh punishment, punishment, i should add, that is often needed out to three generations of a person's family , a political offender knows that when he goes to present his parents and his children will probably go with them. there are probably about 200,000
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north koreans today in the gulag, and more than a million, perhaps as high as 2 million have already died there. the reason we know all of this and much, much more is thanks to the testimonies of north koreans who have escaped. these are the people i write about in my book. this knowledge comes to us despite the best efforts of the c-span2 family regime to keep it secret. for more than 50 years, ever since the end of the korean war, north korea has been sealed off from the world's eyes. the kim family regime has pursued an isolationist policy and maintains an iron grip on information, access to which is very strictly controlled. to give just one example, every radio must be registered with the government's, and its style must these fixed to the government-run radio station. to enforce this rule security
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police equipped with scanners cruise neighborhoods trying to identify households where residents have tinkered with the radios and are turning in the band for an radiobroadcast. surveys of north koreans hiding in china show that a high percentage of them listen to foreign radio broadcasts and north korea in defiance of the rule, and their motivation to leave is, in part, influenced by what they heard on those radiobroadcast. people are hungry for every nation about the outside world. north koreans who escape must first go to china. they can't go south to south korea, strange as it may seem, because the demilitarized zone that runs along the 38 parallel is, despite its name, the most militarized border in the world and is impossible to get across unless you are a soldier who has
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been shown this safer, and only a few people make it out of north korea by going across the dmz. instead, they go to china. and in china the north koreans usually find they have exchanged one circle of hell for another. china's policy is to track down the north koreans in the country, arrest them and send them back to north korea where they face imprisonment or worse for the so-called crime of leaving their country. this policy, this chinese policy is both immoral and in contravention of china's obligations under international treaties is assigned. nevertheless, some of the north koreans who are hiding decide to risk a second escaped out of china to south korean. no one can accomplish this feat on his own. some people can get out of north
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korea on their own, and the hand of the rescuers rarely reaches into north korea itself, but if somebody wants to get out of china they need help. the distances and to great command the challenges are too high for a north korean to do on his own. this is where the new underground railroad comes in. like the original underground railroad and the priest civil war american south, the new underground railroad is a network of safe houses and secret routes across china. the operators are both human traffickers who are in for the money and christians whose religious beliefs compel them to help the north korean brothers and sisters. thanks to the underground railroad, which has been operating for about 12 years, an increasing number of north koreans are reaching safety in the south and a few other countries. the explosion in the number of north koreans who have gotten
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out in recent years is very striking. south korea keeps track of the north koreans to reach south korea, and let me share with you just a couple of the numbers. in 1990, nine north koreans were able to reach south korea. last year, 200-7307 north koreans reach safety in the south. so the people who get out, now, have formed a large enough of them that they are educating us about the truth of life in north korean. and there have been several books published about life in north korea, and we now have a much better picture of what the truth of the existence is there. but the north korean refugees are performing a second equally important function. i do believe more important.
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they're helping to open up their own information starved homeland , just as the world now knows more about north korea, north koreans now know far more about the world. this, too, is thanks to the efforts of north koreans to have escaped. how did they do that? well, i think a minute. any ever granted goes to a new country, what is the first thing he wants to do? you wants to let his family back home know that he's okay and tell them about his new life, but for a north korean who wants to do that, it's next to impossible. you can make a phone call to north korea. you can send an e-mail or a text message or facebook, and you can't even mail letter. so the exiles have created a black market in information. they hired chinese carriers to cross the border and deliver messages or sometimes they deliver chinese of phones to a
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north korean relative to tell the relative to go to an area near the border on a certain day at a certain hour, turn on the phone and received a phone call from a relative who has escaped to a different country. in south korea and north korean exiles have formed organizations whose purpose is to get information into north korea, to give just one example, there are four radio stations run by north korean exiles that broadcast daily to north korea. is the mantra of the kim family regime that north korea is the greatest, most prosperous nation on earth and that the north korean people are the world's happiest is being exposed for the line that is. north korea young new dictator kim jong-un, who took office in december after his father died, kim jong-un understands the threat that information poses to
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his rule. one of his first acts after succeeding his father was to issue a shoot-to-kill order to guards along the korean border. anyone observed fleeing across the 210 river or the yellow river to china was to be stopped, he demanded. there are also reports he is trying to stop the information flow into north korea by forcibly relocating the families of the north koreans to have escaped. the report say that he is moving some of them to the interior of the country where they're will be out of reach of the chinese carriers or -- and the chinese of phones operate. let me close with a "from a north korean boy who escaped to china when he was 13 years old, and i refer, of course, to joseph. ' joseph and tell his story in my book. a couple of years ago when i was
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beginning to do there research on the book, i heard him give a moving address to liberty in north korea. the organization that adrian founded and which helped by joseph escaped from china. joseph told the people at liberty in north korea, what you're doing changed my life and will eventually change north korean. i firmly believe in that statement. today, thanks to the information obtained from north koreans to have escaped, it is no longer possible for anyone to plead ignorance about the suffering of the north korean people or the degradations of the totalitarian regime they suffer under or to argue that things really aren't that bad in that country. a free north korea is not an impossible goal.
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with the help of the north korean people themselves, but those who have escaped and those of still in north korea it could happen. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, melanie. you know, the story you just told about the use of radius reminds me of a story that i was told by and north korean refugee and escapee in south korea about seven years ago when he told me about his travails and how he ended up in one of the political prison camps from which he ultimately was able to escape. he told me that his family had been given a clandestine videotape of a soap opera, a south korean soap opera, and they were watching it at home one night. all of a sudden, all of the power in their town, not a very
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big town, but at town nevertheless, was killed because the number three and security police had come into that town and had decided that the best way to identify who was violating the law on watching south korean television would be to kill all the power. it then came into this family some, they took cameras and a hacked up the vcr that they had, pulled out the tape, which, of course, was frozen without any electricity, saw that it was a south korean soap opera, and took the entire family into a prison camp. one member of that family, i believe, escaped. to give a little bit of personal testimony here, our next speaker, and have introduced both joseph and adrian at this point, and then i will ask each of them to speak and then, after that we will open the room to some questions. joseph kim today is a 22-
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year-old american college student studying international business and just recently he received an award for a piece of writing that he did in his class in many respects it is a classic american college story. but justice background is different. when he was 14 years old he escaped from north korea. he hid in china alone for one year, and then with the help of the underground railroad was able to make his way to the united states consulate in shenyang in northeast china where he was given sanctuary. he eventually made it to the united states into a dozen seven when he was 16 years old. for four years he had effectively been on his own, beginning at the age of 12 after his father starved to death. he lived as a coach debbie, what
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we would call almost a wandering street urchin. the name in carian refers to fluttering sparrows. if only. when melanie asked him what his motivation was for fleeing north korea he simply replied, i was hungry. joseph escape, like so many other north korean refugees, by risking his life as you walked clandestinely across the river into china. there he was stopped by a good samaritan who was very fortunate that it was not a chinese official sending him back across the border. in the good samaritan said to him, you can get help. just go down the road a little bit, and in the next village you will find a church. joseph response and asks, what is a church.
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he will tell us a little bit about his story, and then i'll ask adrian, who is currently, as ken said, the director of the pegasus prize at -- project, but was the co-founder of one of the most important human rights organizations dealing with the plight of north koreans to speak most famously and a rope cleat, in may of 2006 link helped to arrange asylum for the first north korean refugees to be granted refugee status in the united states. on dec. 201st, 2006, adrian, two other field workers, and six number three in refugees they were helping were taken into custody in beijing, and then they were placed in prison just outside of chignon after an interrogation. they played with the united states officials in beijing to help them, to grant refugee
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status to these six north koreans, and in what surely was not one of our finest moments, their pleas met with the fierce. eventually do, and part, to the attention that melanie and other journalists gave to this situation, the united states did intervene. there was quite a bit of international pressure. adrian and their co-workers were released after ten days, and eventually the six number three as were, in fact my granted safe passage by the chinese to south korea. but it is a chilling and heroic story. i think adrienne and joseph were actually both at the same time incarcerated or capped one for their own protection, the other truly being incarcerated, but i don't believe them at the same time. joseph, i will ask you to speak
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first, talk a little bit about your story and in adrian. >> good afternoon, everyone. earlier this semester my academic counselor advised me ted take speech class, but i wisely chose computer class instead, which i kind of regret. before i continue my speech, i would like to address a special thanks to ms. melanie kirkpatrick. thank you so much for your interest in north korean human rights. i am very honored and humbled to stand before you speak. because of your interest and patristics support i believe we will eventually make a difference. thank you so much. my name is joseph camp, and i was born and raised in north korea until abcasixteen. although my family constantly
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fight against poverty, i was always loved and cared for. because i was the only sign and the youngest child in the family however, that kind of luxury is not preserved forever. when i was 13 my father's -- my father died of starvation and not disappeared and my older sister went to china for money. she never returned. i became an worked -- an orphan. it was a huge transition rye had to grow up overnight from child to survive. there were not many jobs other than begging on the street tirelessly. i live like an animal. my daily life was very simple, but very hard. mine -- my goal is to find
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trash. did not have felt for the future, and i did not have ambition. my only goal was to be full, and i thought that. henry and tired, politics and freedom are not relevant. after three years of waiting for my sisters returned to my finally decided to leave north area. it was the biggest decision i had to make. first, it was risky. after all, it was still my country where i had friends. and a place where i grew up with all kinds of memories. whereas women played soccer with my friends. my staff was very successful. unthankful that appetite to me during that time. well i was in china i
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encountered link. at that time the executive director. because of the worker was able to come to america successfully. my life has been changed, and my perspectives of the world have been changed after i came to america. i don't start anymore, and more importantly, i live like human being. i do have goals, and i have dreams and i have hopes. my life in america is close to heaven. my dream is one day that all the austrians we will experience the life i have now. it is a big dream, and it might -- wind we will make this possible. when i was 12 years while the system and i went to the mountain to collect would to cook.
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my father could not go because he stayed home because his strength was weekend. we left home at 5:00 a.m., but will return home it was midnight there were no tracks. we had to bring the would by hand. by the time my sister and i finished collecting what it was already midnight. it was already dark. we were exhausted, and i was afraid that we would not make it home. midpoint. i saw my father walking toward us. i was so happy that he was with me, even though he could not help that much due to his weakness. because of my father was with us , our journey home seem so much better in shorter. is there anyone who doubts that you're too weak to do anything? my answer is no, you're not, and you never or.
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my father was not strong, nor. [indiscernible] the fact that he was with us to my journey from mountain to how much shorter. to participate in link, you don't have to be strong or special. it's okay if you can't support financially, and it's okay if you can't invest, and it's okay if you can't think of ideas to serve in this better, but please, please do what you can do. if we can only pray to god, president. if you can only cry, cry for them. but please, don't ever forget my friends, those who are also your friends. even at this moment they're tirelessly waiting for help. i hope and i believe that they will escape from north korea and
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use a bridge or they will connect fed corrina tether china. the freedom of the land. thank you so much for coming out to listen my story in our story. thank you so much. [applause] >> when i met joseph in china years ago, he did not speak a word of english. this is extremely impressive. i don't think he needed that speech class as badly as he thinks he did. one thing i want to share quickly before i forget is when adjusted for stock to the united states by had gone and purchased books ran because i figured he had a lifetime of poor education or propaganda, and i figured he might want to know what the real story is a very got to where was , what the world is like and that sort of thing. so we get in much of history books and korean. i asked him what books to my
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request in the estimates for shakespeare, which was very strange because you have no reason to ask for shakespeare, but to turn that he heard of shakespeare before he had actually left austria, which is impressive. the next day as to if you read the books and he said for him to fully digest the bulky has to read it three times. he read it three times that night. i think that speaks a lot to justice intellect, and i think the extraordinary story. one challenge i always have many via follow policy are human rights policy it's only happen if and it's very easy for us to write off bad things because we just assumed they happen of there and many times don't necessarily affect us and the challenge about terry and particular is that things are so bad on such a say it -- scale and so hope that it sounds fake. it sounds like it's a lie.
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north korea, all the things that the pundits a talked-about and more, and everyone to go down the list and will appoint a number of human rights violations and bad things they're happening in that state we would be here for hours, and as always been a challenge in trying to articulate what the circumstances of like, but i will point out a few things just so we can have that framework. melanies work does to five melanie's but is a great job of trimming the underground railroad. the risk they take to get out of that situation. it is a situation where they decide to put their life in there and to try to escape. when i first met josephine was very young. i guess you may wonder whether he was fully aware of the decision he was making to leave, but the fact is, if you decide to leave the shelter in china to speak freedom elsewhere,
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regardless of what country you're trying to get to, you're very well aware that you could be caught in or tortured and are killed. so in order to drive someone to go through that much risk, whenever you're skipping from back home has to be pretty bad command extraordinarily bad, far worse them whenever you're facing in order to get out. some north korea is that bad. at least 1 million, if not 2 million north koreans start to death in the mid-1990s and the government and access to food and was able to feed its own people and did not. the north korean government has treated its own people not like any other modern state would is there to facilitate the world -- the well-being of two or 3,000 elites. right now about six or 7 million north koreans are at starvation level in terms of nutrition and every year regularly the world food program carson secos say millions of austrians are about to die and need emergency aid
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and north korea continues to spend three or $4 billion nuclear tests and missile tests when its people starving. that by itself shows you the perris of the country. then you get into the mass human rights violations in terms of if you get arrested, if you listen to a pop song. they put a cup of water so that the condensation ring covered the leaders face. others have been tortured because a relative of there's escape the country to get food and housing. when i was in chinese in 2006 they had the actual head of that prison was ethically carrying and there are a lot of ethnic region -- koreans in that region we talked quite a bit. nothing subversive. he's not going to get in trouble, but one thing he shared with me was that they get number three is all the time and at present. on mondays and thursdays they get sent back to north korea, slight note they are dry state. this is the normal thing. that is the day they sent them back. and it's only at the end boys in
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particular when all is beckham. there would call an older brother. david beckham and say can you cut my hair. he realized the reason they ask is because north korea has rules about how long and was dowser has to be a pity if your hair is in a different style of lager in length, that means you been out of the country, not only of the country, but for a long time. so if there is get the kid had a shot at going back and come up to my get lost. i was there for a day, justice and food. i wasn't there for six months or year to. everybody involved in any way it knows what's happening. there is no illusion as to how bad the regime is. the illusion is is the sense that we can't solve it. the delusion is that we think that this is an inevitable crisis that cannot be fixed and we have no right to do anything or no ability to do anything about it. i think that north korea is not just an issue for a human rights. i mean, this place isalmost this black hole in modern civilization. by any measure, regardless if
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you have connection to a career or not, it is a huge problem, not just human rights, proliferation, w. envy, biological, chemical, conventional weapons, counterfeiting to mike -- state's budget terrorism. it is astonishing this is not just a huge issue in general. nuclear-armed state to half of which are strong american allies. this is a big deal that we just kind of keep pushing under the rug in kicking the can down the road. i think that their will be a day when number three is free. it may be 100 years are tenures and now, but that they will come, and that the most of us involved in various governments are policy positions will realize that there could have been much more we could have done. as the circumstances were worse than we anticipated. this is different in the holocaust in one important measure, we have documented book, verifiable, overwhelming evidence that anyone can access. there was evidence during the holocaust that policymakers had access to and did not choose to act on and could have.
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many people would say if i was in that position would affected differently. today everybody watching this can go home and approval or whenever you would like and find concentration camp. just sat there and show me the route he took to walk from to school every day. the fact that he can do that means that we have overwhelming evidence of what is happening, and there's really no excuse anymore in terms of ignorance. i think when you look at correa and what south korea, the republic of korea has accomplished and loss 60 years, the korean people, when it's unchained can do extraordinary things. it went from one of the most impoverished countries to attend was economy in 60 years. it's incredible. like it would just as a compass, korean-americans have accomplished. north. is part of career that never got the freedom. it's all this. they're still stuck in that place.
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i think that we have a special responsibility to try to fix it. when he first came after a few months of being in china and the taken to address restore committees the things you don't think about. and i don't know if he remembers this, his jaw dropped only get to the aisle. rows and rows of yogurt in cereal and 50 packs of each one. it is amazing how much we have here. he had his first strawberry. to explain what a strawberry is and what she needed was an amazing experience. we take into the soup. they had a diorama of dinosaurs. i have some less difficulty explain to him what a dinosaur was when there is no context for a dinosaur. visa things that i just, you know, illustrations and and it does, but you take that level of education in isolation , you can imagine a nation that is crippled, not to mention the impact of having generations that are malnourished.
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children, entire generations of children that are not just physically stunted in terms of height but have brain damage because they have not had food properly for a first five years of life. so north korea is not just a problem for koreans, not just a problem for people interested in human rights. it's a problem for everybody, and many of the people here in this room have a special ability to weigh in on the state of those people, whether now or later on, and i will share the perspective on the impact of sanctions and other approaches that have had this measurable results with taqueria. regular feedback from our own sources in the country those things were working extremely effectively. we can get into that a little bit more during the question and answer session, but this is not a problem that will go wake. at some point it will have a harder landing. the question is how many people need to die until we get to that point. the more we do now the more we preemptively prepare an act of want lower that number will be
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because there is no question at all it will end, and it will be the issue for everyone in the region, if not the world to deal with at some point. i would just like to end by saying that those of us that have the privilege of being born free are having earned our freedom or manage to somehow accidently, you know, live in a free place to have a special responsibility to help those that are still not there. these people are literally the closest thing to complete slaves and almost everything, even if they make it to china, the essentially traffic, 70%. limited to mongolia or burma they are detained and arrested. we have stories about people having wires but through their noses are years in order to have them sent back in mass. it is not something -- it's easy to get jaded, but it is just that bad. we can be your four hours, and nothing that points to not only a special responsibility, but also it so precious and we are so grateful that folks have taken on this issue because i can point out myself to my very
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likely would still be in chinese custody of folks like melanie and jay had not raise the alarm and continue to push on to even when many governments and other folks who were pressuring the not too. with an alibi to transition to questions, but think everybody who came out and bank money coming in particular, for writing this extraordinary book. [applause] >> thank you. we would like to open up the room for questions. if you have a question, please wait until you have the microphone. you can address your question to anyone in particular or just throw the question out and we will make sure it is fielded. if anyone wants to start. we will give jack the second question. >> melanie, it talks. who are the highest or the
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leaders in north korea who have left north korea, defected if i can use that word. what have they told you about their -- the nature of the leaders and potential divisions and what have you gathered from that information? >> i interviewed a number of diplomats and officials who left and also one military man who left. and the information, knowledge is very compartmentalized in north korea. so it is hard to get a big picture from any individual. the camel family regime, most of the people i interviewed, i guess, work at the time that kim jong-il was still alive. and he was very much in command.
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there was an inner circle of probably, i think jay or somebody mentioned 2000, maybe 3,000 people who run the country. that, at most among those are really the super elite of the country. and beyond that, those of the people who, some of them might have access to the internet, some of them might be allowed to travel. but even then command here is something that did learn that surprised me. even then, they are not fully tested. a diplomat who is sent abroad to a diplomatic posting is often required to leave one of his children behind with them. he can take the rest of the family, one child stays back in austria, and that is for the purpose of making sure that he does not defect. if he defects, he knows that the price of his defection will be the life of the child. so i guess the big take away
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from that is the grip that the -- this inner circle has on the alliance, even of the people who run the place. >> wait until you get the microphone. in the meantime, would you mind if i give a quick -- >> sure. >> the highest level defection from north korea who was the personal adviser. he came away with an incredible amount of information, including more details about how many people really died. as the keeper to number over one and may be close to 2 million people. when he defected 70 households that were somewhat related to him, 70 households, not people, were all sent to concentration camps. there have been several ambassadors from north korea to the middle east including egypt. a lot of arms trade in financial transaction. and overall, bell bought a lot of information, but melanie n.j.
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both pointed out that the number of elite his tutor 3,000. there is no analogous situation. it is just a group that have been brought in. and it's them against everybody else. >> thank you. >> i think it would be interesting, over here, the general way in which you share the stories. somehow a great deal of apprehension. if you could just elaborate the process by which you went to miss some of the instances by wish you secured the stories which ellis. >> well, thank you. one of the things i learned early on, and is not surprising is that talking about these
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stories is very difficult for many north koreans. it is painful to relive these memories. and i tried to do it in a slow way to allow them to take the lead rather than be, you know, kind of get out my wall street journal aggressive reporting skills. by one of the aspects of my book that is, i think, different from other things that have been written about north korea is that i do focus on the people. and i turned to them frequently to ask them to help me reach people in north korea who would be willing to share a story. and because the rescuers would vouch for me, then the north koreans are willing -- were willing to tell their stories as well. and i tried to double check
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things as best i could through interviewing two or more people who were involved in the similar incidents. and so it was a very long process. although i wanted to tell one anecdote that was surprising to me. i interviewed two women from the very first group of refugees to come to the united states. and they had been in this country for four days. i met them in a hotel room in new jersey. and i was all prepared for them with my, you know, set of questions and my theory of how best to establish rapport. the two of them walked in, sat down, about, and took command of the situation. the first thing out of the mouth of the leader of the two was,
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let me thank the people of the united states and president george w. bush for welcoming me to america. this was of woman he knew exactly what she wants to say and was determined to tell me everything i wanted to know and more. she wanted americans to hear your story. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. come really pleased because unil shedding light on the important issue of human rights and the north korean issue. that only japan, but south korea.
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the human rights violation by the dp archaic. as you may know, i number of japanese citizens were affected. and there are still in the country. so still one of the main issues between japan and cpr kate, the newark and destructive weapons. have two questions. change under the new regime of kim jong-un. do you see any changes for better or improvement of the
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situation in north korea? second question, mentioned the radio or the communications between the escape people and the families back home. the affected by dprk. they want to convey caught in north korea. a couple. trying hard. the sons and daughters, but again, international radio waves , they target every possible way to convey.
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do you have any sense as to how they sent successfully in buses to their children? >> to answer your second question first, i think getting messages to them, it's impossible to know, at least at this point in time, whether it will reach them. we don't know where the abilities are living or even if they are still alive. as you pointed out in many cases, and was 30 years ago that there were kidnapped from japan or elsewhere by the north korean regime. that said, we do know that information is getting into north korea much more effectively than ever before. it is especially people who are of little better off such as in p'yongyang which is a closed city, receiving information, and also those along the border with
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china. so i would say, you know, bombard the place with as much information as possible. it may get to them. your first question which is, i think, the key one, and i imagine joseph and adrian n.j. will have some comment on this as well. i see no evidence that kim jong-un is prepared to change north korea. his actions, the shoot-to-kill orders suggests to me that he is as determined as his father and grandfather were to keep the people of north korea under his thumb. and, you know, there have been recent reports that there was a picture of him with the key mouse. i think that is all public relations. the kim family is directly, especially kim jong-il, has been
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very good at public relations, speaking to the international media. i doubt that this place at all in nigeria, and even if north koreans know that kim jong-un has a life, i don't think it would make any difference to them. >> well, as far as the changes going on, i think i would agree that they are by and large cosmetic changes. they are effective in the sense that a lot of western media and policy makers are somewhat taken and. the major publications talking about how kim jong-un indicates reform. they talked about how he now allows a pizza. pizza is no longer in legal. so i think i would caution votes against being too easily bought in. i think there are changes happening, but they are in line with the regime change in the
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leaders that naturally happens in seeking control from the political side of the military side. i think it was leon panetta who said, we don't want to buy the same course twice. we would be coming up on six or seven times now. we don't want to see necessarily buying into the same the side for the sake of the appearance of progress at the cost of the lives of people. >> of like to make one other very quick comment since the questioner is from japan. japan outspoken and very strong comments on the objection of its citizens are an example to be admired. no, your government has broken out forcefully about the human abuses of the north korean regime, and our government to
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take a lesson from that. >> the one other point i would make here, i worked very closely with your government. japan also had a special envoy for number three in human rights to works very closely together for a number of years. given that it is highly unlikely at any point send that the regime is going to fall because of any kind of external force can it also does not seem apparent, although one never knows when something like this could unravel, that the elite that is effectively supporting the regime right now is going to basically dump him. he knows what would emerge. the best chance for change, whether it comes short term or on a slightly longer term is from within the north korean community itself. the more white that kids shed in north korea, the more likely
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that is to emerge. already we have evidence that a significant number of north koreans are getting access to an outside information, radio, occasional tv, some computer access, something that simply did not exist at all ten years ago. to the extent that all of the neighboring countries, including the japanese government, can start to facilitate more radio transmissions in to north korea, there are a lot of organizations that are willing to support the kind of broadcast from number three in refugees who can really shed light from the outside and tell their brothers and sisters in north korea what really happening. and i think that that is an area where the japanese government's can take some initiative. the south korean government has obviously come along way in this area over the last decade, and i employ both of them.
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>> did i take a panelist brought it to ask just a question. when you were living in north korea, did you have access to any foreign information? what did you know about america, for example? >> for example, like, i mean, obviously i had no access to any other foreign country except soviet union and chinese. i'm sorry. >> did you hear any foreign radio broadcasts were see any foreign movies or read any foreign books? >> no. not that i remember. and i doubt that there was any that i could read. so then, for example, when i had to decide whether going to
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america or not, very hard decision. i had no other information other than negative stuff. so first, my response was very immediate. i said no. she was -- she told me that one of a dozen chances you might have. see said, you might want to go always think about it. so the first thing that i tried to movies. as soon as i didn't understand, had been no whether it was an american movie or a german movie .
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i'd just like with the channels with the tv shows are different. i ended up watching a movie. there is no possibility that i would know the title of the movie because it was all chinese the main character was rambo. >> rambo. >> very accurate depiction of the u.s. states. >> in the movie he trained and bread. peats and lives there. that was my first exposure of western culture, i guess. and one of the good things that i found was then that was like, well at least-
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[indiscernible] even though when carrying traditional dishes. so, yes, that was my first exposure to american culture. >> i think we have time for one final question. sure. tillman. quite. >> in 2002i had a chance to be in north korea in connection with the building of a nuclear plant from north korea. when i saw each side of korea,
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almost untouched for the past six years and was really different. and it's also more showcased for showing through an outside national people. my question is, i heard, as of now, a lot of increase in cell phone users and cars. i did not expect in 2002. change for less than ten years. with an increased number comanche users, cars, and make more, you know, tomorrow with the north korea. and then, like he said, that will probably shorten the north korea seven paul.
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>> the increase in automobiles is not as much of an issue. it still contained. the cellphone issue is intriguing because you think it would be counter intuitive. the north korean signed with egyptian telecom providers. and there were at half a million subscribers earlier this year and will hit 1,000,007 which is a huge number. most are centered in the province, but i actually am aware of the technical makeup of the network. it's built in a way that ensures the government can stay in control. they calculated, it's better for them to allow folks to have so
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phones and monitor all the conversations. those funds are not allowed to reach outside countries. so they calculated their would rather make money on that venture and facilitate communications among their regime folks and the military and government folks. so i think the present and is not necessarily a tool for subversive activity or stability, but if the technical mechanisms are potentially exploitable there on the day when that network is turned again. >> i want to thank the hudson institute, can once team for organizing this event today. i especially want to thank our presenters. joseph, you're really a hero and inspiration to all of us. [applause] adrian, likewise, affront prize
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freedom fighter. as we know, the pursuit of freedom, i guess, second only to the pursuit of clenching one's appetite. it's really a natural human impulse. and hearing the stories that melanie has written about in her book really reminds all of us and should remind all of us how fortunate we are here in the united states to live in a land blessed with so much freedom, but with that freedom comes responsibility. our responsibility to become part of this cost a fight for human rights of north koreans. when i was working for president bush several years ago he gave me and several other members of the staff of but that he had just read about north korea, the aquarium's of p'yongyang. how would help the president obama gives this book to
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everyone in his staff possibly everyone involved in asia policy . it's very, very important. up important book for policy makers and is simply an important but to understand the dimensions of this human tragedy thank you for coming today. thank you for your wonderful book. [applause] >> is there a nonfiction author were booked you would like to see featured? send us an e-mail. tweet us. >> and now live from miami, tom will speaks about his latest novel during the opening night of the 2012 miami book fair international. the novel presents the take on the city of miami, is interviewed by former miami mayor and takes questions from the book fai

Book TV
CSPAN November 11, 2012 4:45pm-6:00pm EST

Melanie Kirkpatrick Education. (2012) 'Escape From North Korea The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY North Korea 59, China 31, North Koreans 18, Us 17, Melanie 13, South Korea 12, United States 11, Korea 7, Melanie Kirkpatrick 6, America 6, Asia 5, Koreans 5, George W. Bush 4, Joseph Kim 3, Jay Lefkowitz 3, Washington 3, New York 3, Ellis 2, Adrian Hong 2, Kim Jong-il 2
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